Ratings Roundup: NFL Preseason Shows Early Gains

Although the debut of Monday Night Football on ESPN was down, the NFL preseason has performed well over all through the first two weeks. Monday’s Jets-Texans NFL preseason game drew 4.966 million viewers on ESPN, down 12% from last year (NYG/NYJ: 5.614M). However, through two games, ESPN is up 3% in households for a 3.1/5 over 2010 with 4.7 million viewers.

NFL Network’s Green Bay/Cleveland game on Aug. 13 scored gains with a 67% jump to a 1.0/2. Fox’s coverage of the Buccaneers/Chiefs blowout suffered with a 19% dip to a 3.7/7 but still delivered the network with its highest-rated and most-watched Friday night since January’s Cotton Bowl….

…The debut of English Premier League Soccer over the weekend saw four matches on FOX Soccer grow 12% in total viewers compared to last year. Among key male demos, the M18-34 rating doubled 2010 and the M18-49 rating grew 85…

…Rain delayed coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen from Watkins Glen drew 1.896 million viewers Monday morning, down 5% from 2009, the last time the race was postponed to Monday (1.994M). Last year’s race was run as scheduled and drew 4.932 million viewers.